6KCBWDAY4 | The Point of this here exercise

Day 4 of Knit Crochet Blog Week and I am getting straight to the point of it…

[su_box title=”Day Four: Bags Of Fun” style=”soft” box_color=”#5a889e” radius=”5″] Time to delve into that most treasured collection of tools, notions and oddments as you are asked to spill the contents of your knitting or crochet bag, caddy or other method of organisation and put your crafting unmentionables on display. You may wish to talk about your bag of crocheting tools as a whole, or delve deep into the contents of your knitting caddy and talk about the contents each in turn.

6KCBWDAY4

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A small portion of The Collection
A small portion of The Collection

My collection of straight knitting needles, kept in a whisky bottle tin. Doesn’t look like much of a collection, does it? That is because the vast majority of my needles are in use and are in one or another of my many WiP project bags.

It is a motley collection, collected over the last 8 years or so. I had a whole other collection in a previous life but lost custody of my knitting requisites in The Great Divorce Debacle. When I began knitting again I hastily stocked up on a full set of cheap wooden needles, via Ebay. They are not lovely, they are not long (I like to tuck) and the points are pretty much rubbish but they did have the virtue of being cheap.

To be blunt: cheap and cheerful, rough and ready
To be blunt: cheap and cheerful, rough and ready

I also rashly believed that as I had a full set of sizes I should never be without needles when I needed them. How was I to know that I was to become a Process Knitter, with all that that implies. I can hear your hysterical laughter from here…

Pointedly unremarkable
Pointedly unremarkable

Several pairs of box standard aluminium needles joined the collection in the early days of my return to knitting as these were readily acquired from the island’s shop. I even bought some horrible plastic things when I needed their length and girth. Points are not the strong-point of plastic needle. My, they are awful.

Simply sublime, the best points for lace knitting ever
Perfect Points

I was developing by this time  a penchant for lace knitting; really tricky ultra-fine lace knitting. The kind of knitting that no sane or normal person would countenance. The needle points that I had to hand caused tears to flow at times. Three pairs of Signature needles followed. Talk about the Sublime from the Ridiculous. Signatures must surely be the best needles in the world, the veritable Rolls Royce of needles. How do I explain them to a knitter who has not used them – I think that it must be impossible to do so. There used to be an ad on the TV with the tag line “One simply knows when something is right” or words to that effect. That’s it. These Signatures are just simply right.  I bought the long points for lace and they work  the most tricky nupps with ease, even in gossamer weight. They cope with difficult tinking manoeuvres like a dream. They are not perfect: they won’t bend, spindle or fold, that’s for sure and they hold onto your stitches but allow them to slide where needed but (and this is a crucial but) they are not long enough to tuck! 

The price of Signatures is hideous. I bought mine when they were newly started and making good offers and the Exchange Rate was in my favour.  Here’s what I think – if you are young, knit a great deal and intend to do so for the rest of your life without tuckingbeg, borrow or steal to get a set of Signatures. You will never regret it and they will work for you for the rest of your life. You can leave them in your will to your favourite grand-knitter and they will not only be as good as new but will still  see them through their own knitterly life too.

Me however, I am old and have few knitting years left in me. I shall not be buying more Signatures, much as I should like to own some – there is really no point in my investing at this stage.

Super Novas
Super Novas

After my Signature madness,  I discovered that KnitPro pretty much have the bang per buck ratio sorted. Not the best quality needles but the best quality at an affordable price, and they come in a long length of 40 cm – they have become my needle of choice. I can tuck as much as I wish.

Novas endeared themselves to me quite quickly and I found that lace knitting went well on them. The points are just sharp enough and the stitches glide effortlessly across the needles. Too effortlessly? Yes, dropped stitches were an issue. I also found the Nova’s tendency to deform a little distressing. Bad bends can be evened out and bent back with ease but perfect straightness seems to be impossible to re-establish.

Just about on-point
Just about on-point

I tried Symfonies and these became the Needle of Choice for  a very long time. How can one fault them? They hold the stitches well enough not to lose them by accident, they have a point that deals well with lace stitches, they are strong and don’t deform. Not very cheap but neither are they unaffordable. Symfonies are definitely my “go-to” needle and will most likely remain so. I am steadily amassing a collection of all the sizes. I love it that they come in a 40 cm length. Yes, all around, just about perfect. The dark patterned wood can make stitches difficult to see and to count with some yarns though.

Needle Nirvana
Needle Nirvana

I thought I was suited and that Symfonies could scarcely be bettered but then came the launch of KnitPro’s carbon fibre range – the Karbonz. Once one gets over the terrible naming and examines these needles the veil is lifted. Truly a Needle Nirvana, the Karbonz feel “right” in the same way that the Signatures do. They feel reliable and functional but with a touch of luxury about them. The extra long points are wonderful for knitting lace or multiple stitch manoeuvres. No, they aren’t cheap but they are far less costly than the Signatures and, being made of Carbon Fibre, won’t deform or snap but will have great longevity.

I feel a new collection coming on and would note that any knitter could do a lot worse than to build their own collection of these wonderful needles. I am so fortunate that I can get KnitPro needles easily, and at a very good price, right here on the island.

I did intend to carry on and discuss my DPN collection but think we may save that for next year, this post is more than long enough. It would be pointless to bore you and frankly, I should rather be knitting.

Recently, at the: Crooked House

Thanks!

Thanks!

It’s a reasonable day today and thus we have the back doors standing open. This means that Chloé can come and go as she pleases (she refuses to use the cat flaps and expects us to give her ingress and egress via the sitting room window). We were taking a coffee break in between sorting out the van, when we heard a strange Chloé-type noise. I did not like it. I wondered if she hadContinue readingThanks!

Petunias always make me think of Dinghies

Petunias always make me think of Dinghies

It has been a busy day, not much time for anything. We walked the dog this morning but I took no photographs until I decided to take a few potshots in the village on our way back.

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13 Comments

  1. May 14, 2015
    Reply

    Oooh, pretty needles! I keep meaning to try the karbonz….as if I don’t already have enough needles :-/

  2. May 14, 2015
    Reply

    Wow what a comprehensive review! I’ll be sure to check some of them out when I can afford to!
    H.

  3. spinninggill
    May 14, 2015
    Reply

    I love the way that you’ve aligned the laminated colours up on the Symfonies. 🙂

    • May 14, 2015
      Reply

      I totally refute any allegations of an anal personality type. If they line up, it was strictly happenchance!

  4. May 14, 2015
    Reply

    Lovely needle collections! Thanks so much for telling us what you think about all the different brands. I mainly use Addi Turbo needles these days but I have a large collection of needles my mother gave me.

    • May 14, 2015
      Reply

      Hi, Karen. I have some Addi’s in my circular needle collection but don’t favour them at all. I find the cables too intractible but, more importantly, the points leave a nasty metallic taint on my hands and I cannot bear the smell. Perhaps 7KCBW will give me an opportunity to wander through my circs collection 🙂

  5. May 14, 2015
    Reply

    Thank you for such great information not only about your collection, but also about needles to purchase. I am getting such great info today ????

  6. May 14, 2015
    Reply

    A really great review of knitting needles – for sure I’m going to be checking some of them out! Thank you!

  7. May 14, 2015
    Reply

    I’ve been drooling over the Signatures for years, but I do love my Symfonies 🙂 I think even plain old ordinary aluminum needles have their place 🙂 Have you tried square needles at all ?

    • May 14, 2015
      Reply

      I have! I bought some Kollage square circulars when they first came out. I loved the tips and they really worked well – I had such perfectly even tension! They don’t roll from the table on the ferry either. It was a love/hate thing when it came to the cables. Wonderful to have such soft and floppy non-kinky cables when knitting but they were so tricky when magic looping. I might have purchased more square needles had the Exchange Rate stayed in our favour, but it didn’t.

  8. I have an eclectic assortment of needles too, but seem to always head back to my grandmother and aunt’s aero pins.

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